The Gap Between You and Me - Chapter 48
Although he was the king who was swayed by Serronac’s persuasions and uprooted his old friend’s life as well as his family, that didn’t mean he truly enjoyed the process. In hindsight, until that day, Iorn was the king’s most loyal servant and close friend.
Edwin, who was Iorn’s only son, had nothing to do with Serronac’s prophecy. Nevertheless, even though the king had a heartless decision to kill him at first, he soon changed his mind. It was because of Duon’s earnest request that he would do whatever the king asked, as long as he spared the life of his innocent friend.
In the king’s eyes, the relationship between Duon and Edwin looked very similar to the friendship that he and Iorn had when they were young. A faint light of regret and longing permeated through the fiercely hot madness and heat in his eyes. Iorn, whose neck fell off under his command, showed his best manners towards the royalty until the last moment.
To the king’s question as to whether it would be okay, Serronac, who was silent, answered:
‘My King. Kill Duke Redford. That would be the only way to stop my prophecy.’
Serronac responded like a parrot. But the king accepted it as permission. Thus, he declared that he would spare Edwin’s head, but strike everyone with the last name of Redford down. Instead, he took his name and stripped him of his position to prevent any unfortunate incidents, and then reduced him to the lowest level of slavery in the world.
‘With this, I have done all I have to do.’
The king said with a tired and old face as if he was several decades older than his age.
“I deeply regret that I spoke hypocritical words to you that day.”
‘Sir Edwin has to survive. Survive, and live by apologizing for this indelible sin that your family committed against the royal family for the rest of your life. That’s the only thing I can do for you, Sir Edwin.’
“But that didn’t mean I couldn’t tell you these facts. At that time, I was just as confused as you.”
“I just hope that someday you will understand me a little, if not completely.”
Duon said with a bitter expression. The weight of life weighing down on his shoulders seemed heavier today.
* * *
Duon sent Edwin back after promising to help Hugo. And he was going to keep his promise to Edwin anyway because that was the least tolerance he could now bestow on his old friend.
Duon stood in place for a long time as he watched Edwin’s retreating figure as it went farther and farther away. A strand of memories that he could not even tell Edwin was slowly seeping into his mind.
‘Crown Prince. Are you afraid of me because I am very different from you?’
On a gloomy night. Seronnac, who came suddenly like darkness, asked Duon who was alone in the room.
‘I know what you think of me. You think of me as a poison that possessed the king and drove him into madness. But you are wrong. I was just telling the truth, it’s always up to him to make the decision.’
Every time Seronnac moved, Duon got goosebumps. No matter how much he paid attention, he couldn’t feel her presence at all. Moreover, even as she stood under the moonlight, he could not find the shadow that should have been under her feet.
‘Crown Prince. Are you going to ask the king to spare your friend?’
At Seronnac’s question, Duon trembled. As she said, he planned to go to the king at dawn the next morning and beg for Edwin’s life.
She was a despicable existence. Duon didn’t like Seronnac very much. It was as if she was seeing through the thoughts in his head. He glared at her with much greater vigilance than before.
‘If your close friend survives, I will die at his hand.’
Seronnac said calmly.
‘But even if that were the case, I don’t think you would change your mind. No. Rather, you may be hoping for my death.’
It was a strange word. Even though she hinted at her death, there was no trace of regret or anxiety in her. Rather, she spoke softly, as if she understood that Duon might put her on the road to death.
‘I am different from my father, so I won’t be swayed by your tongue. You might call it a prophecy, but to me, it’s just nonsense.’
Duon answered with a hard face. Seronnac sighed. She knew that no matter how she persuaded him, he would never listen to her; he was denying her existence.
‘I have been with Brimdel for a long time. Also, I am the last remnant of the now-forgotten distant past. If I die like that, the aftermath of it will be very great. And you will lose a lot.’
She prophesied quietly.
‘Crown Prince. Please do not regret it.’
* * *
The warm sunlight pleasantly warmed her face as a cool breeze gently brushed her hair while the sound of a flowing stream could be heard near a small garden located south of Philioche. Herietta was lying on the green grass that stretched out over the garden.
If Rose had seen this, she would have nagged her, saying how frivolous she was acting, but luckily she wasn’t here.
As she tried to close her eyes, her complicated mind felt calmer. The smell of fresh grass tickled the tip of her nose. She inhaled and exhaled slowly and deeply. For this moment, she just wanted to be assimilated, as if to become one with this peaceful nature.
Shaaaa. The branches of the tree that had been shadowing Herietta’s side gently swayed in the breeze. After a while, something tapped and fell lightly on her head.
Herietta opened her eyes and saw the object that had fallen over her head. It was a maple leaf dyed red. As she looked at the maple leaf in her hand, she turned her gaze upward. The yellow leaves hanging from the trees were changing into different colors.
Herietta realized something while admiring the beautiful scenery.
That summer is gone and autumn has come.
She remembered saying goodbye to him before she headed for Lavant, knowing that she was going to be away from Edwin for a while. When the fallen leaves turned red, she said then that she would see him again.
A lot has happened since then. She couldn’t imagine the time when she said her goodbye to Edwin while pretending to be cheerful.
Herietta frowned. It seems that she was more likely to feel bad than good.
But she quickly shook her head. She didn’t have to think about useless things.
Edwin said that he had received Duon’s promise to keep Hugo from going to the battlefield and that documents from the capital would be sent to revoke his conscription order soon. She was anxious and nervous while waiting for him to return. Her heart only calmed after hearing the good news.
‘Everything will be the same as before. As if nothing had ever happened. Just like those days when waking up every morning was just fun and exciting.’
Herrietta struggled to gather positive thoughts. But once it began to sink in, her mood was like a sinking stone in the water, and it hardly showed any sign of rising.
What should I do? Herietta, who was worried, opened her mouth.
[Lance. That summer we carved a secret.
Under the maple tree in the forest, where no one knows.
The day that the afternoon sun was so dazzling.
The promise that started as a joke was engraved there.
Lance. You ride a black horse like always
I will run forward through that wide field.
This small town can’t hold your big dreams.
So you won’t come back here someday.
Lance. Oh my Lance. Remember the day I first met you
You are like me, nothing can stop you
Lance. Oh my Lance. Remember the day I let you go.
You are different from me. Like flowing water, you will go too.]
“Who the hell is this Lance?”
She heard the voice of a man approaching her. Herietta, who was singing quietly, was startled and half rose from her spot. Then she saw Edwin leaning on the tree and looking at her.